In the Trenches with Hearts and Minds: DevOps as “Settled Science” or Largely an Uncontrolled Experiment?

Spring 2021

This session moves deeper into the actual operational experience of DevOps practitioners in the field. Four seasoned professionals will review how various DevOps practices play out in the real world. They’ll examine such notions as creating a single repository of truth, reducing batch sizes, keeping team sizes small, increasing feedback loops, building infrastructure in code, shifting left, continuously testing, and on to automation. At this juncture, is DevOps really as scientific a set of practices as its proponents claim? Or is it something else? Are the metrics produced in the annual “State of DevOps Report” to be taken at face value? Ultimately, what is the “winning combination” of practices that ensures DevOps success from the perspective of those who do this work every day?


Michael Clark has worked in large enterprise computing for over 25 years, first in operations and engineering, and for the past decade in architecture and strategy. He began his career in network and server platform engineering at Bausch & Lomb, where he was instrumental in developing B&L’s global network infrastructure and in launching their first website.

Mike then moved on to Fidelity Investments, where he ultimately took on management of desktop and server operations for Fidelity’s Retail Operations group, merged 19 technology support organizations across the U.S. into 1, and ran network and telecom operations for the Boston region. He spent his final 5 years at Fidelity in the Enterprise Architecture group focused on various platform infrastructure initiatives, including leading the effort to develop a unified server strategy for the firm.

Mike has spent the last 5 years engaged in global professional services activities. He recently became a Partner at Exceptional Leaders International, where his focus is on working with mid-market companies, many of them private-equity owned, to synchronize their business imperatives and technology strategies. He has deep experience in global networking and cloud implementations.

Mike is currently the Technology Industry and IT Consulting Executive at Renaissance Tech & Media. He has been with the company since 2010.

Now Boston-based, Mike hails from Canada, where he received his undergraduate education at The University of Western Ontario. He has since done graduate work at both Brandeis and Harvard.

In his spare time Mike enjoys photography, traveling, and digital audio recording.

Don Luchini is a Boston-based DevOps engineer specializing in infrastructure management and deployment automation pipelines. Over the past ten years, he has acted in the corporate IT, quality assurance, software development, and release engineering spaces, encompassing a number of roles that now fall under the term DevOps. He currently works at SimpliSafe, a Boston-based manufacturer of connected home security systems. In his spare time, he is a martial artist, radio enthusiast, and hobby photographer.

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